The public spat between two police factions in the Western Cape for control of detectives and police intelligence has caught the gaze of new police minister Bheki Cele.
Speaking at a community engagement on Tuesday in Philippi East‚ Cape Town‚ Cele said the dispute between major-generals Jeremy Vearey and Peter Jacobs‚ and their rivals major-generals Mzwandile Tiyo and Patrick Mbotho‚ should be easy to resolve because members of both factions fought together in uMkhonto we Sizwe.
The dispute between them came to the fore after Mbotho and Tiyo replaced Vearey and Jacobs as deputy provincial head of detectives and head of intelligence respectively‚ resulting in a labour dispute in the high court and allegations of police links to mafiosos.
“That spat is on the table. Fortunately the people you speak about‚ some of them were together in the bush‚ some of them were together in one cell in Robben Island‚” said Cele.
“Maybe that gives them a better understanding and a better relationship when working on the matters.”
Cele said “reprioritisation” of police resources was on the cards for Cape Town‚ which he referred to as the “capital of gangsterism and murder”.
He said resources would be diverted from police stations where officers could be spared to areas such as Khayelitsha and Nyanga‚ which have some of the lowest police numbers per capita and some of the world’s highest murder rates.
“We know that the Western Cape‚ for now‚ is the capital of murder in the Republic of South Africa‚ it’s the capital of gangsterism‚ besides the other things like poaching of marine resources‚” said Cele.
“We need to work the plan and begin to prioritise‚ not only in terms of personnel but in terms of resources.”
Cele’s engagement coincided with a huge influx of police — some from as far away as Oudtshoorn — conducting road blocks and raiding shebeens with heavily armed tactical response team members and public order police.
Wearing one of his trademark fedoras‚ Cele walked through a roadblock in Gugulethu‚ shaking hands with commuters and pedestrians.
Although some residents were sceptical about the police’s sudden presence when the minister was in the area‚ they believed Cele was the man for the job.
Lourence Oliphant told TimesLIVE he had faith in Cele because he had prior experience as national police commissioner. “At least the police are visible here now‚ because the crime rate is too much here for us‚” he said.
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